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functional food

Make good use of foods and herbs that are rich in natural antioxidants and immune-enhancers which work synergistically to protect you.

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Banish The Blues

Banish The Blues

Depression can be a killer. I know. I suffered from it badly in my early twenties. I suspect I was born with a genetic tendency towards it. I am familiar with the deep sadness, feelings of shame and helplessness, the terrible fatigue coupled with not being able to sleep to relieve it, the poor concentration and strange shifts in appetite. I have learned a lot about handling it over the years. There are many causes of depression—some are of the body, and some of the psyche. I don’t think you can separate the two. Just as body and mind feed each other in producing the dark, seemingly endless blues which can set in at any period of your life, the herbs you call on for help will improve both body and spirit. When you feel depressed, you can feel anxious as well. Many of the plants which are effective in lifting the blues help to clear fear and anxiety too. Cleanse Body And Soul Where you find depression, you almost always find a mass of creative energy which, for one reason or another, has remained blocked. This can make you feel impotent and helpless. You also often find a tendency to live life by other people’s rules rather than your own—from the depths of your own soul. Indeed, if depression is deep and debilitating enough, you may even come to feel you have no soul to live from. Deep-cleansing the body is important in releasing blocked creative energy and restoring the biochemical balance that helps wash away the blues. Use the Herbal Cleanse. Take a look at my brand new 10 Day Clean-Up Plan book, just published on Amazon. When your cleansing program is done, try following a long-term way of eating based on fresh vegetables—many of them raw—and good quality proteins from fish, organic meat, free range chicken and eggs. Avoid milk products including milk itself, yoghurt, and cheese (butter is OK because it is a fat, and it is the milk protein that tends to cause problems for people prone to depression). Also cut out wheat and anything made from flour such as pasta, breakfast cereals, breads and biscuits and, finally, make highly processed convenience foods a thing of the past. It was just such a diet—one in which at least 50-75% of the foods I ate were raw—that began to lift my own deep depression in my twenties. Sacred Plants Then, turn your attention to herbs and discover just how useful they can be to rebalance brain chemistry, strengthen the body and clear the mind. Then call on the healing powers of some of the best plant-based antidepressants you can find, from St John’s Wort, rosemary and California poppy, to the gorgeous ginkgo. Ginkgo Clears Cobwebs The beautiful leaves from ginkgo biloba—also known as the Maidenhair tree—improve circulation throughout the body and brain. Ginkgo’s seeds were sent to Europe in the 1720s from Japan and China. The Chinese use the ginkgo seeds, but research in the West has mostly concentrated on the leaves. They contain ginkgolides, unknown in any other plant. These phytochemicals block blood platelet activating factors. In doing so, they inhibit all sorts of allergic responses. Meanwhile, ginkgo’s flavonoids do wonders to improve circulation to the brain. Recent studies show that this long-standing Oriental gift can help people clear depression. Ginkgo increases the rate at which information is transmitted at the level of nerve cells. This helps depression in many, thanks to the plant’s ability to enhance the flow of neurotransmitters in the brain. An effective antidepressant dose in one study where ginkgo was used to specifically counter depression was 240 milligrams of the powdered herb a day, in capsule form. It can take six to eight weeks to experience the full effects of ginkgo. So be patient. California Bright Lights Its watery sap has long been used by Native Americans to relieve toothache. It relieves pain, relaxes spasms and warms your body. California poppy is the best anxiety-calming herb I know and it works quickly—in a few hours. Don’t worry, it is not a narcotic, only a gentle sedative and tranquillizer so safe that herbalists give it to children. Neither does it depress the central nervous system as many sedatives do. The usual dose of tincture is 1 teaspoon to half a glass of water taken twice a day in the afternoon and evening. I like to combine tincture of golden California poppy, Eschscholzia californica, with that of St John’s Wort—in equal parts—to lift the blues. Bright As Sunlight The yellow flowers and dancing leaves of St John’s Wort—Hypericum perforatum—can bring balance and joy. This plant may be slow to act, but its effects are deep and long lasting. St John’s Wort is nature’s answer to Prozac. Every part of this joyous herb yields uplifting power—its leaves, its shoots, its glorious yellow flowers. Even the way it grows seems to celebrate life. St John’s Wort can banish anxiety, bring light into the dark depths of depression, and help transform difficult times—the loss of a job, of a lover, or of sense of purpose—into times of power. In the past 20 years, dozens of randomized clinical trials have shown that this plant is just as, if not more, effective than standard antidepressant drugs. Yet it comes without the negative side effects. In Germany alone, 1 million prescriptions are written for this plant each year. The bright yellow flowers of St John’s Wort contain a red oil called hypericin, which is anti-viral and probably mood enhancing. Many studies show that it is whole plant extracts, however, rather than hypericin alone that have the best antidepressant effects. Help From St John's Wort To make tea, use 1 teaspoon of the dried herb in a cup of boiling water. Steep for 10-15 minutes, strain, and drink 1 to 3 times a day. Another effective way to use St John’s Wort for depression is as a tincture. When you feel at your lowest you don’t have to go to the trouble of making a tea. Take 1 teaspoon of St John’s Wort tincture in a little water 3 times a day. When used as an antidepressant it should be taken for at least a month before results can be seen. A lucky few people, however, respond right away. Caution: In a few people St John’s Wort causes mild nausea, stomach-ache, depressed appetite, tiredness, and in even fewer still, sensitivity to sunlight. It shouldn’t be taken during pregnancy. If you are already taking antidepressant drugs do not stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor. Lift Your Spirit Tea Rosmarinus officinalis grows just about everywhere. Who would ever suspect that the rosemary plant is one of the most useful herbs you will ever find for lifting the blues. The strong and sturdy plant is an excellent tonic as well as an all-round stimulant. It raises spirits and energizes the body, clearing apathy, nervous exhaustion and digestive disturbances. Rosemary has a long-standing reputation for strengthening the memory as well. That’s why Greek scholars wore garlands of rosemary when taking exams. It is also rejuvenating, in no small part thanks to the flavonoid diosmin which it boasts in abundance, to strengthen capillaries and collagen in the skin. In the 14th century, 72 year-old Izabella, Queen of Hungary, was crippled with rheumatism. She used masses of Hungary Water (rosemary leaves macerated in alcohol) and regained her youth so well that the king of Poland proposed to her. One of the first to be distilled, a few drops of essential oil of rosemary in the bath can help clear a fuzzy head with ease. You can use the fresh leaves or the essential oil in steam inhalations for exhaustion and shattered nerves. Meanwhile, simple rosemary tea is bracing and wonderfully uplifting. Spirit Lifting Tea Put a handful of rosemary leaves (1 tablespoon of the fresh herb or 1 teaspoon of the dried herb per cup) into a warmed pot and pour boiling water over them. Replace the lid to prevent the aromatic vapors from being wasted. Leave to brew for five minutes. Drink hot. Top quality herb products: Gaia Herbs, Kava Kava Root Liquid Herbal Extract Validated Full Spectrum Extract Dietary Supplement Supports Normal Relaxation from Tension Brought on by Daily Stress Promotes Muscular and Nerve Relaxation Encourages a Sense of Emotional Well Being Order Gaia Herbs, Kava Kava Root from iherb Natrol Ginkgo Biloba Helps Improve Memory Supports Sharpened Alertness Dietary Supplement Natrol Ginkgo Biloba may help support circulation, which is one way researchers believe this herb helps enhance cognitive function. Our formula is standardized to guarantee a potent level of highly active compounds. Order Natrol Ginkgo Biloba from iherb Gaia Herbs St. John's Wort Liquid Herbal Extract Validated Full Spectrum Extract Dietary Supplement Order Gaia Herbs St. John's Wort from iherb Herb Pharm, California Poppy We prepare our California Poppy Extract from fresh (undried) whole Eschscholzia californica plants (root, leaf & flower) which are Certified Organically Grown on our own farm without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. To assure optimal extraction of bioactive compounds, the plants are hand-harvested while in full flower and are then taken directly to our laboratory and promptly extracted while still fresh and succulent. Our poppy plants are never fumigated or irradiated. Order Herb Pharm, California Poppy from iherb

Fruit Glorious Fruit

Fruit Glorious Fruit

Somehow fruits seem to have have earned themselves a bad name. Why? Because fruits contain fructose—fruit sugar. Nonetheless, it’s fructose that gives glorious organic navel oranges, blueberries, apples, and golden kiwis their marvelous sweetness. And the right amount of organically grown, whole fruits do a lot to keep us well. Fruit plays an important part in any high-raw way of eating. These colorful gifts of nature cleanse the body of the toxicity we absorb from our environment, the water we drink, and the dreadful packaged convenience foods people eat. That’s why fruits are so valuable to any serious detox program. THEN AND NOW So what’s the problem with fructose? First of all, there is evidence which indicates that people who eat too much fruit can make themselves vulnerable to chronic problems like insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity. And this is important. For most fruits we eat today contain between 30 and 50 times the amount of fructose compared to the fruit our hunter-gatherer forefathers munched on. This has come about because, during the 20th century, enormous hybridization projects continue to make fruits sweeter and sweeter. As a result, not only has the incidence of chronic illnesses—from heart disease and diabetes to cancer and mental disorders—exploded in developed countries: So has our consumption of sugar in its many forms—of which fructose is one. If you are someone with high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, insulin or leptin resistance or hypertension, then it is best to limit your fruit intake so you only get, say, 15 grams of fructose a day. How do you do this? Choose your fruits carefully so that most of them are low-fructose. If you do not fall into these categories, you should be able to eat a lot more fruit and have it do you nothing but good. That is, of course, provided the fruits you choose are organic and therefore not sprayed with chemicals. Make sure they have not been GMO grown. Under no circumstances do you want to put genetically modified foods of any kind into your body. All GMO crops are dangerous, despite all the corporate hype designed to make us think otherwise. RESEARCH, RESEARCH But findings about the effects of fruit eating are contradictory, to say the least. The British Medical Journal is soon to publish three observational studies that examined the effects of fruit-eating on human health. These studies analyzed the diets of almost 200,000 people between 1984 and 2008—none of whom had indications of heart disease, diabetes or cancer when the studies began. On completion, the studies indicated that, far from fruits predisposing us to degenerative diseases, some fruits including grapes, blueberries and apples may actually reduce the risk of diabetes. This is great news and somewhat unexpected, since apples and grapes contain a lot of fructose. But beware. Drinking juices made from these fruits that are bought, rather than being homemade from fresh produce, do contribute to the development of the same diseases that eating whole fruit can help prevent. Steer clear of all packaged and tinned fruit juices and fruit drinks. One aspect of fructose is as dangerous as hell—high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). If you value your health and the health of your children you’ll want to avoid it at all costs. But avoiding it is not easy. HFCS is added to just about every packaged food and drink you buy. So read every label on every packaged food or drink you buy, and reject every food or drink containing it. HFCS is deadly stuff. A highly processed form of liquid sugar extracted by a nasty chemical solvent called glutaraldehyde, not only is HFCS frequently contaminated with mercury. Putting it into the body is a major cause of obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, mood disorders, and hyperactivity in children. A DEVIL IN THE DETAILS High-fructose corn syrup is similar in composition to sucrose, with levels of around 45% glucose to 55% fructose. And, as with sucrose, its harmful effects are concealed from view. It does not raise blood sugar, as it is processed by the liver. There it promptly turns into fat. In 1978, HFCS was brought in as a substitute for sugar in soft drinks. This quickly became a real game-changer, but not in a good way. By the year 2000, sugar consumption in America increased by 25 pounds per person per year, nearly ALL of it in the form of HFCS. These days the average American consumes a massive 35 pounds of HFCS each year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It’s no coincidence that the obesity rate in the US has reached epidemic proportions worldwide. You’ll find HFCS in thousands of grocery items, even in places you might never suspect—such as pizza sauce, salad dressings, foods from sodas, drinks and sweets to sauces, breads, and delicatessen foods like smoked salmon, luncheon meats and salami. Farcically, HFCS is often labeled "all natural" because fructose is found in fruit—even though it is mass-factory-produced, using a process which dramatically increases the fructose content of corn syrup. Fructose in these protucts bears little resemblance to fructose found in fresh fruit. It also lacks the fiber, antioxidants and nutrients found in fresh fruit. As pediatric specialist and childhood obesity expert Robert Lustig puts it, high-fructose corn syrup is “a poison all by itself”. Lustig doesn’t distinguish between plain sugar and HFCS when it comes to health perils—they are “equally dangerous”, he insists, like two sides of the same coin. And what’s so insidious about HFCS is that it is sold to the public as a “healthy alternative” to regular sugar. You should avoid it at all costs. MY OWN FRUIT EXPERIMENT Most of you know that I am a passionate fan of organic raw food and have been for almost half a century. A high-raw way of eating in my mid-twenties healed me from so many illnesses contracted as a result of being raised on junk food throughout most of my unpredictable childhood. A few weeks ago, Aaron and I decided to experiment by returning to being on an all-raw fruits and vegetables diet for a period of six weeks. We wanted to check out what, if any, ill effects eating an all raw diet containing lots of fresh, organic fruits would have on us. The results of our little experiment have turned out to be excellent. We ate a lot of fruit. We put it in our salads, we made juice from a mixture of fruits and included in it much of the pulp produced from the juicing. We loved the way this made us look and feel. I’m happy to report that the results of our little experiment have been nothing but good. Like vegetables and herbs, fruits are not only a storehouse for vitamins and minerals; they boast high levels of phytochemicals. These powerhouses for health and vitality are not nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Yet they carry colored plant factors which play an important role in our health. A good supply of these phyto-nutrients helps minimize the incidence of cancer and heart disease and protect from degenerative conditions associated with aging, such as inflammation of the joints, loss of memory and concentration. They even help slow the aging process itself. Large quantities of these plant factors with many different names are found in common fruits, from berries, oranges, lemons and grapes to cantaloupe, kiwis, cranberries and cherries. However, in any diet based on manufactured convenience foods, they are scarce as hen’s teeth. FRUITS CAN BE FABULOUS Berries, grapes and cherries as well as citrus fruits are excellent sources of water-soluble phyto-chemicals known as flavonoids. Flavonoids guard the integrity of collagen within the body. They work together with vitamin C and—as do many of the other phyto-nutrients—enhance the positive effects of antioxidant vitamins, improving the function and the integrity of tiny blood vessels known as capillaries, which deliver nutrients and oxygen to our cells. This helps raise overall energy. It also helps keep skin smooth and elastic, and protects against bruising while improving memory and eyesight. Phyto-nutrients often carry weird names like catechin, quercetin and hesperidin. Among the more than 20,000 known, hesperidin, rutin, quercetin, catechin and pycnogenol are especially important. Catechin reduces allergic reactions by calming histamine release in the body. Rutin helps guard the integrity and health of capillaries, veins and arteries, as well as the skin itself. Many phytochemicals protect our health by interfering with or blocking specific disease processes. They do this either by acting as antioxidants and preventing free radical damage, or by inhibiting enzymes which promote the development of diseases like cancer. Some plant factors found in fruits and vegetables clear our cells of toxins and other damaging substances, such as herbicides and pesticides we take in from our environment. HEALTH HELPERS At Tufts University in the United States, scientists developed a method of quantifying the anti-oxidant power of specific fruits and vegetables by measuring their ability to quench free radicals in a laboratory test tube. To test a food’s oxygen radical absorbance capacity, called the ORAC test, scientists have been able to categorize a fruit or vegetable according to its overall anti-oxidant power. Fruits like blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries are at the top of the list. These can be highly protective of our health. While we’re talking of lists, here is a list of some of the most common fruits, indicating how much fructose is in each. Become familiar with it and, given the state of your own body, you can easily make your own decision about what kind and how much of each fruit suits you best, as well as how much you want to eat of it. FRUIT SERVING GRAMS OF FRUCTOSE Lemon 1 medium 0.6 Passionfruit 1 medium 0.9 Apricot 1 medium 1.3 Raspberries 1 cup 3.0 Kiwi 1 medium 3.4 Cherries 1 cup 3.8 Strawberries 1 cup 3.8 Pink grapefruit ½ medium 4.3 Nectarine 1 medium 5.4 Peach 1 medium 5.9 Orange 1 medium 6.1 Banana 1 medium 7.1 Apple 1 medium 9.5 Persimmon 1 medium 10.6 Pear 1 medium 11.8 Grapes 1 cup 12.4 Mango 1 medium 16.2 Here are my suggestions on how to get the very best from fruits, now and always: If you know you have insulin or leptin resistance, suffer from food cravings and are overweight, pick your fruits from those with the lowest levels of fructose and limit your fruit intake to around 15 grams of fructose a day. If you are not troubled by any of these conditions, you can experiment by eating fruits which give you from 20 to 40 grams of fructose a day and work out by trial and error what levels of fructose best work for you. Always eat your fruits whole, if possible. If you choose to juice them yourself, make sure you keep the valuable pulp from the juicing process and add a good quantity of it back to the juice. Go for organic fruits. You might even try growing a lot of your fruit in your garden if you have the space. Never eat GMO fruits—something difficult to ascertain in most countries these days, since corporate interests have lobbied hard to prevent GMO labeling. This is another reason to choose organic. Never eat or drink anything with high-fructose corn syrup in it. It’s deadly stuff—so read labels carefully. Fruits are one of nature’s most glorious gifts to us. Enjoy them.

Stevia: What is it?

Stevia: What is it?

An exotic herb which grows in subtropical areas of South America, stevia is replete with non caloric sugary molecules. This is the reason for its sweet flavor. Stevia has sweetened herbal drinks since pre-Columbian times. Its properties were first recorded by a botanist named Antonio Bertoni in 1887, who wrote about ways the natives of Paraguay used it. Others have discovered stevia in the past fifty years and made good use of it. Japan and the United States have done extensive research and safety testing on the plant. Their research shows that this marvelous sweet herb is non-toxic, safe for diabetics and beneficial for weightloss as well as daily use for yourself and family. More good news: Stevia is not a source of nutrition for bacteria in the mouth nor for yeasts and fungi such as Candida Albicans in the body. A few years ago, following some rather bogus animal research promoted by Monsanto — who produce much of the artificial sweeteners in the world — the European Parliament banned the sale of stevia in Britain and Europe. There is much pressure at the moment to lift that ban. In the meantime, if you live in the EU, you can, without difficulty, order stevia online from herbal shops, either in your own country or another European country, including the UK. It is widely available in shops and stores in the United States and Canada, Australia and New Zealand and most other countries of the world. Stevia is great for all sorts of reasons on Cura Romana Spoonable Stevia By Stevita: Spoonable Stevia by Stevita uses only stevia extract with at least 95% pure glycosides (extremely sweet tasting ingredients of the Stevia herb leaves), and a little erythritol, a crystal granulated naturally produced filler found in fruits, vegetables and grains. It is best for baking and sprinkling. Order Spoonable Stevia By Stevita from iherb ENGLISH TOFFEE STEVIA: Wisdom Natural, SweetLeaf, Liquid Stevia, English Toffee Sweet Leaf liquid stevia with all natural flavors is convenient and easy to use. As a supplement, add this nutritious stevia to water, tea, coffee, milk, sparkling water, protein shakes, plain yogurt or anything else you can imagine. It comes in many different flavors including lemon but English Toffee flavor is the best by far. Order English Toffee Stevia from iherb ORDERING FROM IHERB.COM: If you decide to order any products from Iherb.com, you will automatically receive $5 or $10 off your first order. Their products are the cheapest and best in the world…I use them for everything no matter where I am. Get it sent to you via DHL. It will be with you in three to four working days… iHerb.com ship all over the world very cheaply. IMPORTANT - Do not be fooled by the artificially made Stevia products such as Truvia and Purevia. These products are not the natural Stevia plant. To learn more read my post here called beware of Truvia.

Sacred Truth Ep. 42: Are You Plagued By Hunger?

Sacred Truth Ep. 42: Are You Plagued By Hunger?

Have you ever wondered what triggers your hunger? Sometimes even after eating a good meal? Then let me share some interesting truths with you. Hunger signals come from your brain’s appetite control centers. These are meant to tell you when you need to eat. The problem is that these days, control centers in most people’s brains no longer function as they are meant to as a result of the way we’ve been taught to live and eat in the modern world—masses of packaged foods, grains, sugars, and convenience foods filled with pesticides, chemicals, and health-destroying additives. So often we experience false hunger, which undermines health and makes many people fat. More about this in a moment. This false hunger is most of the time triggered by three situations: First, when your body is fatigued and is calling out for energy, you often turn to food in the hope that eating will revive you. Sadly, this seldom works. In fact, for most people, eating under such circumstances only increases your hunger instead of helping you handle it. Second, when your body’s in need of essential nutrients—a vitamin or mineral for instance—or, more often than not, needing a combination of nutrients that you’re not getting from the foods you’ve been eating—this also produces false hunger that is not easy to handle. Finally, when you’re experiencing negative emotions or are under a lot of stress, most people seek comfort from eating certain foods—especially grain-based carbohydrates like breads and pastas or foods full of sugars in the hope that these foods might alleviate their discomfort. The problem is that the very foods you seek for comfort only make you crave yet more carbs and sugars. Why? Because when you turn to grain and cereal-based carbs—from breads and pasta to sweet deserts—these foods create insulin resistance and blood sugar disorders. This leads to ever-increasing food cravings and addictions. These are the three most common triggers of false hunger, which undermines your health, decreases your vitality, and makes you feel lousy. False hunger is triggered by your hypothalamus and autonomic nervous system. More often than not, you are not aware that this is happening as you reach for food. Conventional weight loss diets use all sorts of pills, potions, and techniques in the hope of overcoming false hunger’s trigger mechanisms. Slimming diets tell us we should count calories. They tell us we have to work our bodies hard to keep from getting fat. They urge us to use brute force or willpower to overcome the impulse to eat. Of course, sooner or later, these methods fail. So what’s the answer? You won’t believe how simple it can be. Here’s how to manage these issues. When you feel hungry for no reason, stop and ask yourself if you are really hungry or just tired and in need of a rest...if only for five minutes. Drink a glass of good quality water, breathe deeply, and give yourself a time-out which you deserve. Stay away from packaged convenience foods. They deplete your body of vitamins and minerals, and are filled with hidden ingredients, including flavor-enhancers designed by manufacturers to increase your hunger while undermining year health. Learn simple practices for making stress your friend instead of being ruled by it. Then practice them. Eat REAL foods like fresh organic vegetables, and top quality proteins from fish as well as chicken and animals that have been freely grazed in pastures. Cut the quantities of grains, cereals, and sugars to an absolute minimum. Want to learn more? Download my new very comprehensive free book now (Stay Healthy & Lean For Life). The information it offers can literally transform your health and your life.

Take Only The Best Vitamin Supplements

Take Only The Best Vitamin Supplements

Many years ago, impeccable research in reputable scientific journals confirmed that every one of us benefits from taking the right kind of vitamin supplements. One excellent study in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that women who take over-the-counter multivitamins in the first months of pregnancy dramatically reduce their risk of giving birth to a neurologically damaged child. Neural tube defects are amongst the most horrible and most common birth defects. They cause everything from death to paralysis in the child, and they affect between 1 and 2 babies in every 1000 births. The study was carried out under the direction of Aubrey Milunsky, director of Boston University's prestigious Center for Human Genetics. It involved 23,000 women, half of whom took multivitamin pills containing folic acid—a B-group vitamin in particularly high demand during pregnancy. The results were astonishing. The incidence of neural tube defects in babies born to the women who took the supplements was less than a quarter of what it was amongst those women who took no supplements. So remarkable were these results that they shook to the core FDA officials, who had insisted for generations that taking nutritional supplements is not only unnecessary but, can cause damage our health. Nevertheless, the FDA and CODEX continue to propagandize the ridiculous idea that “nutrition has no significance for health”. The notion that if vitamins and minerals are allowed on the market, they should only be permitted in ultra-low doses. As a result, month-by-month, clinically effective nutrients are being treated as “toxins”. The levels of nutrients they contain are being reduced. Many are being removed from public access in one country after another. There’s a wonderful way around all this which I strongly urge you to explore. Shun chemically made vitamins—which over 90% on the market are—and take food-state nutrients instead. Most vitamins you buy in shops or online are made from synthetic chemicals. They’ve been manufactured in a laboratory in a futile effort to match the molecular structure of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals found in our foods. As a result, they are chock full of chemically-made nutrients. Your body has been designed to absorb vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat. Manmade synthetics can never match natural molecular structures. In no way are they the same. Our bodies do not handle synthetics well. You can be taking a high-potency, man-made synthetic that somebody’s recommended, yet not effectively absorbing the vitamins and minerals it contains. This is a major reason why I am passionate about whole-food natural vitamins and minerals. Good manufacturers of whole-food vitamins usually grow most botanicals themselves that go into their food-state formulas. Using state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation, they test, validate and document the potencies of the raw materials that make up their products with high performance liquid chromatography for testing potency. They are careful in the way they handle other plant extracts which they add to their supplements. They use a specific system of drying which transfers heat gently and efficiently, removing moisture from delicate foods and botanicals in order to prevent oxidation of raw materials. This protects the integrity of the ingredients against any degradation of their nutrient content, and helps maintain the color and the flavor. Since food-state vitamins are biologically natural, you’ll often find that the recommended daily serving of some of these products can sometimes be as high as six to eight capsules a day for you to get the full benefit of what they have to offer. In addition to the common vitamins, such as vitamin A, C, D3, E, K2, folate, and so forth, many food- state multis offer a broad spectrum of bioavailable minerals—calcium, iodine, magnesium, selenium, chromium, molybdenum, manganese; as well as extracts taken from plants also beneficial to your body—extract of barley grass, for example; green papaya; Ayurvedic herbs such as astragalus, foti and kudzu root; and those used in Chinese medicine like reishi and shitake mushrooms. These are often the kind of supplements you may well benefit most from using. Read labels when looking for a good food-state supplement, and choose carefully. But beware. There are many vitamins on the market that claim to be food-state or “whole-food vitamins” that are not top quality. Always make sure that whatever vitamin/mineral complex you choose, it is free of corn, soy, yeast, wheat and dairy products, and that it has been formulated without the use of preservatives, artificial flavors or coloring. See below for some food state products I have personally tested and recommend. Dr. Mercola, Premium Supplements, Whole Food Multivitamin Plus As a dietary supplement, adults take 4 tablets two times daily with food or as directed by your healthcare professional. This product is best taken once in the morning and once at night. Order Whole Food Multivitamin Plus from iherb MegaFood, One Daily, 180 Tablets MegaFood cares about doing things the right way - we refuse to take shortcuts, and we never compromise on quality or the things that matter. Order MegaFood, One Daily from iherb MegaFood, Men Over 55 Since 1973, we have been going out of our way to source fresh and local foods from trusted farmers. We then make our wholesome supplements using our one-of-a-kind process to deliver the most authentic nutrition - much more than vitamins alone. Order MegaFood, Men Over 55 from iherb MegaFood, Women Over 40 One Daily FoodState Nutrients are made with fresh and local foods. Crafted with our Slo-Food Process, they deliver the most authentic nourishment available, which we believe the body recognizes as 100% whole food. Order MegaFood, Women Over 40 One Daily from iherb

Guarana - Awesome Energy From The Amazon

Guarana - Awesome Energy From The Amazon

Coffee smells good and tastes great. It delivers quick energy bursts to clear away your brain fog. But the caffeine from the coffee bean can soon burn out, leaving you nervy and exhausted. Drinking coffee distorts insulin balance, triggers blood sugar distortions and creates unconscious addictions that are hard to kick. Mainstream medicine tells us that it’s the caffeine that causes problems. We are also taught that all caffeine is the same. Well, I’m here to tell you, it just ain’t true. Not all caffeine is the same When I was nine years old, I was in Brazil with my parents. There we discovered a plant also rich in caffeine which switches on your energy and keeps it going without the negative downsides associated with coffee-drinking. When this exotic plant is organically grown and carefully harvested to preserve its caffeine, along with many other plant factors that make it so powerful, it delivers energy, increases your strength and stamina and, unlike coffee, does not burn you out. The plant is called guaraná. It’s named after an Amazonian tribe—the Guaranis—who recognized its power centuries ago. It grows wild in the exotic Brazilian rainforest in the form of a red berry. And it holds the energy secret of Brazil, and many other South American countries. In Brazil, guaraná is a drink more popular than coffee. Thanks to its complex combination of health supporting plant factors, the naturally occurring caffeine—unlike coffee—is released slowly into your system. As a result, the energy boost that guaraná brings you is not short, nervous and abrupt with a rapid energy drop-off. It’s uplifting and it lasts without distorting your metabolism. Western medicine confused Western medicine has long been ignorant and confused over guaraná. You’ll find all sorts of contradictory, not to say absurd pontification about its so-called dangers if you surf the web looking for information about it. Don’t bother. For centuries, guaraná has been the best kept secret in South America for increasing physical and mental stamina, increasing positive motivation and keeping the population going day after day without the toxic chemicals in coffee and other energy drinks. Guaraná supports all twelve of the body’s fundamental systems important for human health. In the past 50 years, many research projects in the Southern Hemisphere have turned up remarkable truths about this amazing plant. By all means, look online and learn about this marvelous plant, but forget searching for good information from American or European scientific research projects. They don’t exist. Western medicine has hidden its head in the sand and turns out the same-old, same-old nonsense claiming that guaraná is nothing more than plain old caffeine so you might as well take a No-Doz pill or swallow another cup of java. But clinical studies from the Southern Hemisphere have much to tell. The alkaloids in guaraná, say researchers, stimulate our myocardium and central nervous system, reducing our fatigue while enhancing alertness. Guaraná is a superior health tonic. Its seeds hold from 4 to 8% caffeine including large amounts of saponins, terpenes, tannins and flavonoids. Its seeds are fatty. When you grind them into a powder they are not water-soluble, which is a major reason why the special caffeine they contain is only slowly metabolized by your body. This protects from the nervousness and abrupt drop-off you get from coffee. This also means that guaraná’s seeds are able to act as “carriers of energy” through the body. The energy they bring therefore has a calmer, cooler quality that both revitalizes and relaxes. Guaraná also enhances physical and mental performance and promotes thermogenesis by nutritionally stimulating the body’s Beta receptor pathway, breaking down stored fat and allowing it to be turned into energy. Warning Avoid Energy Drink Claiming guaraná Now here are some important warnings, so please listen: Should you decide to explore what guaraná can do for you, you must make certain that the product you choose is genuine guaraná imported from Brazil that contains the whole plant—instead of some cheap derivative which is only caffeine. Believe me, cheap imitations of the real thing are rampant. Big-selling drinks are riddled with plain old caffeine listed as guaraná on their labels. So are all those sports drinks and macho “energy boosters”, designed to attract men and women naïve enough to believe that they will get bigger muscles by using them. Stay away from such rubbish for the sake of your health and your pocketbook. Guaraná must never be mixed with a lot of other stuff, which could well make you sick. Guaraná is a substance only meant for adults. It is not for children, pregnant or breastfeeding women or anyone with fibrocystic breast disease. You should consult your health care professional before using it. Finally, use only one or two tablets of guaraná a day. More is NOT better. When to take them? Take only one tablet thing in the morning. If this works well for you but you feel you want another energy boost later in the day, you can take a second tablet at lunchtime. Find out what works best for you. But never take guaraná late in the day—it might interfere with your sleep. the very best guarana product I’ve investigated many guaraná products on the market. Here is what I believe to be the very best: Guarana Energizer Guarana is a natural herb imported from Brazil. It has been used for centuries by the Native Americans of the Amazon as an energizer. Order Guarana Energizer from iherb Each guaraná tablet contains approximately 200 mg of natural occurring caffeine. This is 1 to 2 times the caffeine in a cup of coffee. I’m keen to hear from you about your own guaraná experience. Do get in touch by adding a comment below:

Nature Ends Insomnia

Nature Ends Insomnia

“Insomnia? I know a great cure for it... get plenty of sleep” W.C. Fields Do you dread going to bed for fear for fear you won’t sleep? Do you wake in the night only to find that you can’t go back to sleep again? Well, you’re not alone. Over half of the population of both the UK and the United States—where Big Pharma collected $3.7 billion for selling drugs for sleep in 2012 alone—have problems with some form of “sleep disorder.” Many take hypnotic drugs despite the fact that at least two dozen published studies have examined mortality associated with these medications. Eighteen of these report significant connections between using these drugs and increased mortality. Taking sleep inducing drugs is also associated with a greater than three-fold increased risk of death, even when less than 18 pills a year have been taken. Bottom line: Hypnotics ain’t worth the risk. There are better ways of handling insomnia. DANGER WORRIES There’s no doubt about it, disrupted or poor quality sleep can be dangerous. I learned this myself first hand after taking a flight that crossed twelve time zones. I found— unusually for me—that my body never readjusted to the new time zone, and I was sleeping only an hour or two a night, and at very irregular times. This went on for almost two weeks, at the end of which I was in severe physical pain. I went to see my doctor, also a skilled acupuncturist, concerned that I may have contracted some fairly serious illness. He treated me with acupuncture and sorted out the pain within two treatments, as well as my inability to sleep. He also told me that he had seen this in patients of his who are pilots. Research studies show that when healthy male volunteers were deprived of four hours of sleep for a single night, the activity of the natural killer cells in their immune system fell by as much as 30 percent. That’s the bad news. The good news is that a single good night’s sleep brought normal functioning back to the cells. It has also long been known that shift workers, whose hours of sleep continually change, have increasing difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. They also have more accidents, suffer more illness and die younger than people with normal sleep schedules. INSOMNIA TRIGGERS Anxiety Fear of insomnia Stimulants such as coffee or alcohol Eating too many high glycemic carbohydrate convenience foods which disturb blood sugar Low levels of melatonin Low levels of serotonin Drug use Depression A lot of so-called insomnia is nothing more than the result of worrying about getting to sleep. Many people who consider themselves insomniacs are really victims of the general propaganda about sleep, rather than true non-sleepers. Many people seek treatment because they can only sleep four or five hours a night, although that may be all they need. There is nothing more likely to cause sleeplessness than the worry that you won’t be able to drop off. Sometimes sleeplessness can be normal. After all, we all experience a sleepless night every now and then, particularly if we are over-tired, worried or excited about coming events. Real chronic insomnia is less frequent. There are many things that can cause it, from taking stimulants such as chocolate, soft drinks, coffee and tea, to not getting enough exercise. Nocturnal hypoglycemia is another major cause of insomnia in many people. BEWARE OF BOOZE Alcohol can severely interfere with sleep for a number of reasons. First, it brings about the release of adrenalin giving you a sense of excitement—a totally inappropriate condition for putting your head down on the pillow. It also interferes with the transport of tryptophan into the brain. And since the brain depends on a good supply of tryptophan in order to produce serotonin—the neurotransmitter that brings about sleep—drinking alcohol late in the evening severely disrupts serotonin levels. Alcohol, of course, also has a relaxing effect, which for many people will put them to sleep immediately, provided they have drunk enough of it. Then they find that, two or three hours later, they awake dehydrated and unable to sleep for the rest of the night. LOOK TO NATURE For my money, botanical sleep support wins the battle against insomnia better than almost anything else. There are several botanicals I turn to and recommend to others. Some of the most powerful helpers for insomnia have botanical origins. Many plants, from skullcap (Scutellaria laterifolia) to hops (Humulus lupulus), can be used to help promote sleep. I use them often. Here are some of the most effective. CALIFORNIA POPPY Eschscholzia californica This gentle but effective sedative is also an antidepressant and a mood stabilizer, and the seeds of the plant offer excellent natural relief for someone living with chronic pain. It appears to work by telling the brain to increase your opiate receptors, which automatically decreases pain and brings relaxation. California Poppy is also non-addictive. But it should not be taken during pregnancy as it might stimulate uterine contractions. VALERIAN Valeriana officinalis A natural sedative and anti-hypertensive, valerian has been used on both sides of the Atlantic for generations, not only to induce sleep but to help protect people from the negative effects of stress. A double blind study involving 128 people showed quite clearly that a water extract of valerian root significantly increased the quality of sleep. The study, which was quite thorough, measured night awakening, people’s own perceptions of the quality of their sleep, sleeplessness in the morning and sleep latency—that is, how quickly a person got to sleep. In another double blind insomnia study, 20 people were given either a combination of 160mg of valerian root extract and 80mg of Melissa officinalis extract, or menzodiazapine (Triazolam 0.125mg), or a placebo. (Melissa, by the way, belongs to the mint family and also has a powerful anti-viral activity.) Researchers discovered that the valerian-melissa preparation was comparable to the benzodiazepine drug in its ability to increase deep sleep. However, unlike the drug, it did not cause side-effects—diminished concentration, impairment of physical performance or daytime sleepiness. My only problem with valerian is that to me it smells like dirty socks. KAVA KAVA Piper methysticum From the pepper family, this plant is consumed in liquid by the cultures of Polynesia. It is both an effective sedative and hypnotic. It also acts as a muscle relaxant, anticonvulsant, and anti-depressant. When you take it, it first stimulates then begins to sedate the central nervous system. Small doses can produce a euphoric sense of wellbeing. Larger doses or small doses repeated frequently produce deep relaxation, lethargy and induce sleep. Human studies where kava is given in therapeutic doses have failed to show any toxic effects. Nonetheless, kava should not be used by people who have or have had liver problems, who drink alcohol, or take drugs. Children, pregnant and breastfeeding women are not to take kava either. PASSIONFLOWER Passiflora incarnata This magnificent climbing plant, with its white flowers and extraordinary purple centers, is mildly narcotic and a wonderful sedative for the body. It’s an anti-spasmodic, sedative, hypnotic, hypotensive anti-depressant and nerve relaxant. It is particularly useful if you are someone who tends to suffer from nervous tension as well as insomnia. Not as strong as valerian in its action, it is more calming than sedating, and is therefore a superb alternative to tranquilizer drugs. Passionflower works particularly well for sleep when taken together with 5-HTP as an herb, a tincture, or fluid extract or in dried powered form in capsules. Passionflower was used by the Aztecs as an analgesic and sedative. One of its plant chemicals is called harmine, which has an interesting ability to bring about a contemplative state and a feeling of mild euphoria. It was even used during World War II as a “truth serum”. Harmine and other plant chemicals in passionflower, which work synergistically with it, prevent serotonin levels from falling and therefore works extremely well with 5-HTP against insomnia. HOPS Humulus lupulus The flowers from this common herb are often used together with other remedies to treat everything from indigestion to edgy nerves. Like valerian, hops have a pronounced sedative effect but it is much milder. You can use hops in the form of a tincture, but it can be particularly useful as a tea for people who awaken in the middle of the night. Prepare it before going to bed by steeping the flowers for 10 minutes in hot water and then straining and allowing to cool. Put the tea, sweetened with a little honey or preferably stevia (if you can get it), by the side of your bed so you can drink it if you awaken during the night. Some people also swear by small pillows stuffed with dried hops blossoms which you put under your neck when you go to bed or if you awaken. LET GO OF FEAR Experiment with these wonderful plants. Get to know them. Each has its own personality and its own soul. I have used them all over the years and come to love each one of them for their beauty and their effectiveness. Just as when you meet a new friend, it takes time to experience all their gifts. But you will, and it will be wonderful. Meanwhile, forget worry about sleep. Do what you need to do and then just let it happen. If it doesn’t happen tonight, so what? It will tomorrow night, or the next. Lack of sleep is not likely to kill you, but worrying about it for long enough just might. St. Patrick began each day with a prayer, regardless of how much or little sleep he had, or how he felt when he awakened. It is my favorite celebration of new beginnings and can wipe away worries following a sleepless night: I arise today Through the strength of heaven Light of sun, Radiance of moon, Splendour of fire Speed of lightning Swiftness of wind. Depth of sea Stability of earth, St. Patrick My favorite herbal company is Gaia Herbs who are fanatical in their methods of gathering and processing each and every product. I buy them from iHerb. Here are some of the Gaia products I especially like: Gaia Herbs, Kava Kava Root, 60 Vegetarian Liquid Phyto-Caps Many systems of the body can be negatively affected by stress. That is why achieving a state of calm and relaxation is so important for optimum wellness. Gaia Herbs' Kava Kava is a potent herbal extract which helps support emotional balance. Made from ecologically harvested Kava Kava from Vanuatu, it contains a guaranteed 225 mg of active Kavalactones per serving. Order Kava Kava Root from iherb Gaia Herbs, Valerian Root, 60 Vegetarian Liquid Phyto-Caps Valerian root has long been used to promote deep and restful sleep in those with occasional sleeplessness. Made from Valerian grown on Gaia's own certified organic farm, this extract delivers 1.8 mg of Valerenic acid derivatives per serving. By promoting a sense of calm and relaxation, Valerian Root supports the body in falling asleep naturally. Order Valerian Root from iherb Gaia Herbs, Sound Sleep, 60 Vegetarian Liquid Phyto-Caps Getting a restful night's sleep is essential for optimal health. Sound Sleep is an all herbal formula with botanicals historically recognized to address difficulty with sleep. It works to normalize restlessness, physical tension, and worry sometimes associated with occasional sleeplessness. It may also be used when nervous excitement and/or stress affected normal sleep patterns. Order Sound Sleep from iherb Gaia Herbs, Serenity with Passionflower, 60 Veggie Liquid Phyto-Caps Occasional nervous stress and tension can interfere in the enjoyment of everyday life by disrupting the functioning of body and mind. Serenity provides the support you need to help restore a sense of calm and relaxation your life. Made with certified organic Passionflower and Skullcap, this formula gives your nervous system the nourishment it deserves. Order Serenity from iherb

Get Rid Of Inflammation

Get Rid Of Inflammation

Inflammation is the most dangerous condition your body has to handle to make you well and keep you that way. It diminishes your immune system. It can trigger a wide variety of serious degenerative illnesses, from early aging and heart disease to diabetes, arthritis, food intolerance and mental disorders. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to infection, injury and tissue damage. It comes in two forms: Acute and chronic inflammation—systemic inflammation, which spreads throughout your body. Acute inflammation is temporary, the purpose of which is to restore good tissue function as soon as possible. Your body creates inflammation as its defense against disturbing homeostasis in an attempt to prevent harm to surrounding tissues. Chronic inflammation is different. It turns into a festering fire causing pain, illness and disability all round. The reactions it brings about in the body are highly complex, involving many cellular and molecular distortions. It acts upon pro-inflammatory immune cells that circulate throughout your body, damaging healthy areas like the linings of your blood vessels in arteriosclerosis, joint tissue in arthritis, gut mucosa in lactose and gluten intolerance, and pancreatic tissue in diabetes. It can even act as a precursor to cancer. SURPRISING DISCOVERY Recently, highly respected cardiologists have pointed out that when it comes to the treatment of many conditions—such as heart disease—the medical profession has been doing it all wrong. Prescribing drugs to lower cholesterol, and telling people to restrict quality fats, do not protect from heart disease as we have been taught. The statins which cardiologists continue to prescribe are not only useless, they say, these pharmaceuticals can be seriously detrimental to your health. It is, they have discovered, inflammation in the arteries that is the real cause of arteriosclerosis and heart problems. Cholesterol can never line artery walls causing heart attacks and strokes unless systemic inflammation is widespread in your body. Dwight Lundell, former Chief of Staff and Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital in Arizona, is one of many outspoken physicians in regard to this mistake. “We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong,” he says. “I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years’ experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.” THE TRIGGERS What causes inflammation in the body? Many things, from genetic inheritance to environmental influences—especially the wrong diet; being exposed to bacteria, inhalants, pollutants; even electromagnetic influences from cell phones, smart meters and towers; not to mention taking long-term courses of powerful drugs—from antibiotics to hormones, anti-depressants, analgesics and sedatives, to drugs like statins, commonly used to treat heart conditions; and other prescriptive drugs, the remains of which literally poison the body, badly polluting its terrain. If you wish to protect yourself from inflammation, you need to become aware of where it’s likely to be coming from. This means examining how you live your life, and making changes to protect yourself from possible causes. The second step is to learn about which foods cause inflammation and which foods can help protect you from it. Then it’s time to throw out every one of the inflammatory foods that line your cupboard and your refrigerator, and forever change how you may have been eating. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY EATING Certain foods, herbs, spices, and supplements help reduce inflammation and protect your body from it in the future. Organic dark green vegetables are high on the list: Spinach, kale, dandelion greens, collard greens, broccoli, bok choy, beet greens, and asparagus are high on the list of protective vegetables. So are organic berries of all kinds, organic chicken, grass-fed lamb, beef, venison, wild salmon, and green-lipped muscles from New Zealand. Foods that cause inflammation which you want to avoid at any cost are all kinds of sugars, regardless of how much they may be promoted as “good for you”; all artificial sweeteners, which are chemically dangerous to your body; and all GMO foods, which can literally be deadly. A large percentage of the population also reacts badly to cow’s milk products—from the milk itself to cow’s yogurt and cheese. Another category of foods that can be highly inflammatory to the body are high-carbohydrate foods, from the common grains and cereals to packaged convenience foods which line your supermarket shelves. They are chock-full of colorants, flavor enhancers and other chemicals which poison your body. It goes without saying that you want to avoid all junk foods, from sugared drinks to pastries, completely. Explore instead using the faux grains, which do not pollute your body and are great for meals and baking. (See: faux grain) SPICE IT UP Certain spices are wonderful for helping to quell inflammatory issues. Always buy organic. Most herbs in supermarkets have been irradiated—sprayed with herbicides and pesticides, which you do not want to allow into your body. Turmeric has been used for centuries as a medicine for treating colds, flu, and liver disease. It contains curcumin which has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation. Cinnamon, in addition to its beautiful smell and flavor, has been shown in many studies to exert anti-inflammatory properties and to ease swelling. Garlic in fresh form eases the inflammation of arthritis, as well as helping to protect you from colds, flu and other ailments. Ginger, in the form of a fresh root which you can grate into your foods and drinks, is fabulous for calming inflammation of upset stomachs, getting rid of headaches and infections. Cayenne, like other chili peppers, contains capsaicinoids which gives it its anti-inflammatory properties and can ease the pain of arthritis and headaches. MAGNESIUM THE ULTIMATE For those in the know, it is magnesium that forms the foundation of both treatment and prevention of heart disease, arteriosclerosis and diabetes by calming the fires of chronic inflammation. Virtually everybody in the western world is seriously deficient in this wonderful mineral. All packaged convenience foods are very low in it. Magnesium deficiency is common in obesity, type 2 diabetes, and the insulin resistance that can trigger cardiac issues as well as the widespread incidence of cancer. Magnesium reduces hypertension, reduces your rate of aging, helps protect from bone fractures, and calms troubled minds. It is as basic as clean air and water for becoming healthy and staying healthy. There are many ways you can take magnesium, from swallowing supplements (not the best way) to bathing in magnesium chloride baths. One of the most effective ways to get more magnesium into your body—something all of us need to help clear inflammation and treat pain—is transdermal magnesium therapy. Get yourself a spray bottle of high quality magnesium chloride and spray it on your body, massaging it in all over. Magnesium chloride is taken right through your skin into the cells. Slowly but surely, doing this three times a day counters inflammation and pain superbly well. Spray it on or have a friend massage it into your body. When it dries, it may leave traces of white powder on the skin surface. This is nothing to worry about. It is some of the magnesium itself, that’s all; you can brush it off. Life Flo Health make a pure Magnesium Chloride Oil, which is inexpensive. It provides 66mg of magnesium chloride for every 4 sprays or 560mg per teaspoon. It is taken from the Ancient Zechstein Seabed, which lies 1600 to 2000 meters beneath the surface of the earth in the Netherlands, and is 100% pure. Magnesium chloride has no equal when it comes to the effectiveness of using magnesium to counter inflammation and athletic pain. It must be 100% pure magnesium chloride, not any other form of the mineral. I use it every day. Clearing inflammation from your body in whatever form it occurs may well be the very best action you can take to help you live a long and healthy life, during which you look and feel your very best at every age. Life Flo Health, Pure Magnesium Pure Magnesium Oil is a highly concentrated spray of pure magnesium chloride-nothing added and nothing removed. Mined deep under the earth's surface from the Zechstein Seabed in the Netherlands, it can be used daily, is non-greasy, and leaves no unpleasant odor. Provides approximately 66mg of elemental magnesium for every 4 sprays or 560mg per teaspoon. Order Pure Magnesium from iherb

The Power Of Herbs

The Power Of Herbs

If you have been following my blog, you’ll know that my life is full of herbs. The wonderful gifts that herbs provide include not just their dazzling power to heal and strengthen, but their magnificent beauty. I’m moved to the core whenever I take time to notice the way a plant looks and smells, when I sense the inexorable persistence of its growing, and its willingness to grace my life with its delicate splendor. When you become aware of a plant’s beauty at every level, even the most commonplace interaction between you and the plant feels sacred. OF GODS AND DEMONS The ancient Egyptians believed that incense was the sweat of the gods that had fallen to Earth. We associate saints with beautiful fragrances and devils with foul smells. I remember once visiting an onsen—a spa in the mountains of Japan. This is a place of healing where hot sulfurous water pours forth from natural underground wells. I walked down endless corridors before reaching the sulfur pool which was enclosed to make it possible to use even during the icy winter months. I was alone in the small room. The pool sides were encrusted with yellow growths, and sulfurous steam filled the room. As I climbed naked into the streaming water, I felt afraid. That’s how deeply ingrained our sense of uneasiness can be when faced with the overwhelming smell of sulfur, which our culture and our ancestors have always associated with the devil. FILL YOUR ROOMS WITH BLISS Use herbs and plants to care for your pets, or to cleanse the space in which you live and work. They help remind us of who we really are, and what is fundamentally important in the desacralized environment in which most of us spend most of our lives. One of the things I most love to do is fill my bedroom with lilies. These are my favorite flowers—but they have to be the white oriental lilies or the marvelous Stargazers, as these are the most scented. Over the years, I’ve come to know lilies well. I know that they give off the greatest amount of fragrance between two and three in the morning. The beauty of their fragrance at this time is so intense that it often wakes me up. Sometimes when this happens, it seems to me that these flowers—so generous with their gifts—are calling to me, asking me to celebrate their wondrous beauty. The word perfume comes from the Latin per fumum, meaning “through the smoke”. The original way in which fragrance was used in human life was to create a union of divine and mundane reality, not only in the lives of priests, but of ordinary people. Our sense of smell plays a powerful role in rituals. Scent is one of the means by which we create the bridges between the transcendent and the day-to-day. It’s just like if you say a prayer before you eat, the very act of eating nourishes your body and your soul too. CLEANSE AND SANCTIFY When you move into a new home, or you feel the need to cleanse or make sacred any space—bedroom, kitchen, workplace, or the whole house—try doing it with the traditional sacred plants first: Desert sage, copal, sweet grass; even dried lavender, thyme and rosemary. I cut back my herb plants three or four times a year, and they love it. It makes them grow stronger and bushier. I then take the cuttings and tie them in small bunches with brightly colored ribbons, and hang them from my kitchen ceiling to dry. Once dry, I can use them for potpourris, sachets, and of course, sanctifying space with their smoke. HERE’S HOW Take a bunch of dried herbs and light them over an open metal biscuit tin to catch the sparks, so that they don’t reach the floor. I use a long rectangular tin that once held a bottle of malt whisky for this. I know other people who use baking trays and turkey tins. When the herbs begin to smoke, walk around the space to be sanctified, lifting up the burning plants with the tin beneath them. All the while, ask with your heart and mind that the room be cleansed and dedicated to whatever purpose you intend for it. This could be to make a joyous harmonious space; a space in which creativity can flourish—this is something I love to do—or a space for meditation, sleep, prayer or making love. It is your intention, coupled with the cleansing abilities of the burning plants, that makes it all happen. When you are cleansing and dedicating the desired space, make sure that you offer up the smoke to all corners of the room, and to the six directions—north, south, east, west, above and below. And when you’ve finished, thank the plants for their help. They will hear you and celebrate their own beauty..

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Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 12,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 11 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 16th of January 2020 (updated every 12 hours)

-1.31 lb
for women
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Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 16th of January 2020 (updated every 12 hours)

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